Manipulation of the Ukrainian media: "Putin has decided to blow up Zaporizhzhya NPP. The media learned the date"
Once again, Ukrainian media outlets are manipulating information regarding a potential threat to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) by the russian occupiers. This time, the story with a clickbait headline was published on the TSN website. The source is undoubtedly trustworthy (sarcasm, of course) - an anonymous Telegram channel.
Let’s take a closer look at the article and what’s really happening.
The TSN website published a news item titled “putin has decided to blow up the Zaporizhzhia NPP: The media learned the date.”
WHY THE HECK DID I READ THIS?
Russian President Vladimir Putin / Photo: Getty Images
In addition, Putin is allegedly planning a man-made disaster at the Kursk Nuclear Power Plant almost simultaneously.
russian dictator vladimir putin has allegedly decided to blow up the occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. The russians are “planning a terrorist attack in late August or early September”.
This is stated in the pro-russian Telegram channel “General SVR”, citing its sources in the rremlin. It operates on behalf of a former general of the russian Foreign Intelligence Service.
It references an anonymous russian Telegram channel called “General SVR,” claiming that russian President vladimir putin has purportedly authorized plans to blow up the occupied Zaporizhzhia NPP. The russians are “plotting a terrorist attack for late August or early September.”
Despite the headline’s assertion of a specific date, the article doesn’t provide such information. This discrepancy between the clickbait headline and the content casts doubt on the first sentence, especially when considering the anonymous nature of the source.
Subsequently, the TSN news piece was edited, appending a clarification that the information had been circulated by russian Telegram channels while eliminating references to mainstream media outlets and the specified date. However, the article didn’t at all acknowledge these changes.
The report suggests that the kremlin leadership might be orchestrating a man-made catastrophe at the Kursk Nuclear Power Plant, potentially around the same timeframe, with the aim of attributing blame to Ukraine.
No additional evidence has been provided.
The news article was swiftly disseminated throughout Ukrainian Telegram channels and media, and as is often the case with Telegram channels, with no reference to its source.
Authorities have started to respond to this fake news.
For instance, the press service of the Zaporizhzhia Regional State Administration of Nuclear Power clarified that “currently, the information circulating in the media regarding a planned terrorist attack by russian occupiers at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is unconfirmed and false.”
At 13:48, TSN released a news report featuring a statement from the Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine (HUR), which asserted that “currently, the likelihood of provocations at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is minimal, and there is no threat.”
“Regarding potential russian provocations at the ZNPP, there is currently no danger. russian PSYOPS are actively at work, attempting to sow panic and frighten Ukrainians. Of course, if the probability of provocations increases, as before, the HUR, the President, and other special services will promptly alert us. At this time, there is no cause for concern,” HUR informs TSN, which had initially started the panic. Ukrainian media and Telegram channels once again reference TSN to counter the russian disinformation.
However, at 14:48 on August 16, the link to this news wasn’t functioning properly. Instead, it opened to the main page of the media outlet. At the same time, there was no official comment on any of the HUR’s resources.
As observed earlier, several Ukrainian media outlets shared an alleged statement from the HUR that is no longer present in the information space.
Information can be trusted when its source can be independently verified. You should always verify messages from official sources, particularly when you’re asked to trust a screenshot of a media outlet or an anonymous message that can be easily deleted or corrected.
Regarding the russian provocation at the Kursk Nuclear Power Plant, the National Resistance Centre (NRC) provided an update. According to their information, preparations are in progress in the Kursk Region to facilitate evacuations in the event of potential radioactive contamination following an accident at the nuclear power plant. To this end, local authorities have been instructed to establish a transport registry. The pertinent documents were acquired by the National Resistance Centre.
According to the NRC, the Ukrainian Defense Forces operate exclusively within Ukrainian territory and have no intentions of launching attacks on nuclear power plants. This provocation appears to be a means for the russians to divert global attention from their seizure and occupation of the ZNPP